Poland: Social Network's Logo “Raises Controversy”

The largest Polish social network, Nasza-Klasa (‘Our Class’ – based around the idea of networking with school peers), appeared in the mainstream media several times last year. In summer 2009 it was featured as #19 on the Techcrunch list of main social networks, valued from $90 up to $553 million pending the measurement metrics. The same summer a resident of Gryfin won a case against Nasza-Klasa [PL] after he found out that someone had set up a fictional profile with his actual photos and personal data. After another court case it has also been legally bonded [PL] to ensure that users do not upload photos without appropriate license. When the social network was celebrating its third birthday in November 2009, questions were also raised [PL] about censorship and moderation of its user accounts. The growing scepticism towards the network became apparent when offices, ministries and the police banned their employees from using the website [PL], which is said to have been useful in crime investigations in the past. Statistics published today [PL] related to the usage of social networks in Poland show the increasing popularity of Facebook as opposed to Nasza-Klasa.


Nasza-Klasa logo today

Yesterday, Gazeta.pl daily news portal posted a short article [PL] informing its readers about a discussion of their portal's users around Nasza-Klasa logo, with gradually disappearing characters. This redesign, conducted during the last few days, was positioned as potentially an attempt of network administrators to allude to the recent theft of the sign from Auschwitz Nazi death camp museum. Gazeta.pl in their article clearly stated quoting of their readers and added that Nasza-Klasa has denied any connection to the recent case, however the article itself raised serious questions about foolishness of those speculations and the fact they were published in the mainstream media.

User glupie polaczki states [PL] today:

They should close down this anti-Semitic portal

Supported by opinion [PL] of another user, fqw:

It's gone now. How can they mock in such an anti-Semitic way!? how…I ask you…?

Others criticize the article itself. Ols85 mentions [PL]:

ONLY HERE – Gazeta.pl editors are all excited. Pulitzer guaranteed, I think…

SOber states [PL]:

It's always the best move to add on to something ideology, and afterwards strongly believe in it.

The majority of voices mocks the content of the article referring to more rational reason of the logo change – re-branding. Titus explains [PL]:

Honestly, it requires a great deal of bad will and inner need to seek conspiracy to associate the fact of “renovation” on nk with the theft of the sign… It was apparent from the beginning that it was a simple attempt to change the logo pictured in a funny and interesting way.

User autor autor sums up those comments saying [PL]:

This information is a final proof that Poles are functionally illiterate people. They cannot comprehend what is being said to them in media programmes, and they cannot grasp a simple message “we are changing our logo”, displayed in a nice way.

Local social media specialist, Socjalistka, dug out two links [PL] to announcements that Nasza-Klasa had acquired nk.pl domain, which supports the version of re-branding.

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